Beneath Time and Reflection: The Shadow of Husserl in Michel Henry’s Non-Intentional Phenomenology

Claudia Serban


Ever since The Essence of Manifestation (1963), Michel Henry’s phenomenology
developed in a close dialogue with Husserl. This confrontation led Henry, in 1995,
to formulate the project of a “non-intentional phenomenology,” which would find
its point of departure in a quite simple question: is intentionality—the key feature
of consciousness and of lived experience as such in Husserl’s perspective—able to
ground itself? Does it provide its own foundation? If not, in what could its
possibility-condition be found? Henry’s gesture invites us not to a purely
descriptive attitude toward such intentional acts, but rather to an inquiry into their
origin and their inner ground, to submit them to a transcendental interrogation in
order to discover “what ultimately makes them possible."

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